“Passion” DVD sales takes top spot for R-rated film

“Passion” DVD sales takes top spot for R-rated film


DVD sales for “The Passion of the Christ” have been so successful in its first two days that some entertainment reporters are already talking about a sequel.

E!online writer Lia Haberman wrote yesterday: "We smell sequel." 

On its first day of release, Aug. 31, Mel Gibson's film on the last hours of the life of Jesus Christ sold 4.1 million copies, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment reported yesterday. Sales by midday Tuesday had topped the studio's initial goal by 20 percent.

While “Passion” trails the one-day sales record of "Finding Nemo" at 8 million copies, it holds the record for an R-rated film.

The number of sales is also significant for a film with sub-titles, Scott Hettrick, editor of DVD Exclusive, told CNN. He predicts sales will eventually hit 18 million copies, generating about $400 million in sales.

Many retail merchants are also taking advantage of the film’s DVD release to promote sales of digital videodisc players, and are positioning "Passion" DVDs alongside DVD players, Hettrick said.

At this point, sales seem to be driven by the Christian market, which was the target audience for most of the promotional campaign. More than 260,000 churches nationwide and six million households received promotional materials.